Thursday, September 07, 2023

Magen David Adom (MDA) Saves Lives in Israel with Advanced Technology

In the ever-changing medical industry, Israel stands out as a frontrunner in making significant technological strides in the field. Leading this advancement is Magen David Adom, an organization founded almost 100 years ago that has harnessed Israel’s advanced technology to develop faster ways of saving lives throughout the country. On a recent visit to Metro Detroit, MDA leaders spoke about the tech innovations that are helping the organization respond quicker to medical emergencies, both large and small. This tech innovation is also being shared with other emergency response organizations throughout North America.

Yoni Yagodovsky, senior paramedic and director of international relations, along with his colleague, Raphael Herbst, senior paramedic, and trainer, visited Midwestern U.S. cities to conduct life-saving training sessions called “First 7 Minutes.” The program’s name is derived from the first seven minutes it typically takes for first responders to arrive on the scene of an emergency. Yagodovsky and Herbst taught participants at local Metro Detroit synagogues how to remain safe and offer critical first-aid assistance during the hectic time following an attack. Rather than focusing on specific protocols, the training covered seven principles for the first seven minutes: safety, call for help, saving lives together, organizing the scene, bleeding control, reporting, and assisting EMS.

L to R - Richard D. Zelin (American Friends of Magen David Adom in Chicago MDA), Yoni Yagodovsky, Raphael Herbst, Rabbi Jason Miller, Jonah Miller, and Robert Rosenthal (American Friends of Magen David Adom in NY)
L to R - Richard D. Zelin (American Friends of Magen David Adom in Chicago MDA), Yoni Yagodovsky, Raphael Herbst, Rabbi Jason Miller, Jonah Miller, and Robert Rosenthal (American Friends of Magen David Adom in NY)

At the heart of MDA’s groundbreaking initiatives is an innovative app that empowers people across Israel to swiftly request assistance during medical emergencies. Yagodovsky and Herbst provided a demonstration of the app, showing that with only a few taps on a smartphone, users can instantly notify MDA for life-saving help. The app uses location-based technology to ensure that medics in the vicinity are promptly alerted. Calls are answered within two seconds and this guarantees an ambulance will arrive in under four and a half minutes.

What sets this app apart, the MDA leaders explained, is its seamless integration with emergency services beyond Israel’s borders. In the event a user presses the help button while in the United States, the app automatically notifies 911, providing them with the user’s precise location. Additionally, users can upload their medical history and a baseline ECG for paramedics to compare should that user ever experience a medical emergency.

Magen David Adom’s commitment to direct communication is another key aspect of its service. Unlike traditional emergency hotlines where calls are directed to operators, MDA ensures that when you call, you speak directly to a paramedic. This approach facilitates a speedier assessment of the situation and enables immediate guidance and instructions.

With such cutting-edge innovation, MDA has helped other organizations outside of Israel adopt its advanced medical technology. Hatzalah South Florida, the Philippine Red Cross, and Hatzalah Chicago are only a few examples of entities preparing to adopt MDA’s innovative approaches into their own emergency response procedures.

Collaborations with innovative companies around the world have further enhanced MDA’s capabilities. For example, MDA has established a partnership with Waze, the Israeli-founded navigation app, to optimize ambulance routes with shorter response times. By taking advantage of Waze’s user-reported accident feature, MDA can swiftly learn about incidents and dispatch emergency personnel accordingly, whether the accidents are minor or major.

Recognizing the importance of efficient resource management, Magen David Adom has introduced Medical Vending Machines in hospitals. These machines allow paramedics to replenish their ambulances with precisely the supplies they need, reducing unnecessary spending on unused medical devices. This cost-saving measure has proven highly effective, saving thousands of dollars annually.

Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, MDA is now able to predict the locations of future accidents. By analyzing data and patterns, the organization strategically deploys more medics to areas where they are likely needed. Additionally, MDA collaborates with car manufacturers to tap into their vehicle sensors, which can detect impact during accidents and predict the nature of injuries sustained by passengers and drivers strictly from the force of impact and the angle hit. This valuable information is relayed to MDA in real-time, enabling its emergency response workers to prepare the necessary resources and provide tailored care swiftly.

Magen David Adom is using its in-house team of around to design all of its technology that is being used all over the world.  As Israel’s Magen David Adom continues to push boundaries with its pioneering technologies and innovative approaches, led by 55 developers, it serves as an inspiration to the global medical community. With thousands of lives being saved through its rapid response, seamless communication, and predictive capabilities, MDA shows Israel’s advancement in technology in the 21st century.

Originally published in the Detroit Jewish News

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